My new favorite plein air painting spot is the Roswell Historic district. I should narrow that down to the area right around the old Roswell Mill. This encompasses Vickery Creek and the falls, along with the adjacent Sloan Street area. There is a treasure trove of mid 19th century homes that have been preserved along with what’s left of the mill. Part of the old mill is a wonderful 1840’s vintage group of apartments called The Bricks. They encompass two apartment buildings that originally housed cotton mill workers and their families in what could quite possibly be the oldest standing apartment buildings in the United States. These historical buildings have also been used as a hospital for Union soldiers and the Roswell library in the recent past. A total of ten apartments remain and have been continually renovated since the 1950’s and now contain deluxe residential units with a mix of modern conveniences and 1800’s charm. I was struck by the classic proportions and details such and doubled brick pilasters, and elegant temple like entrances. Another interesting aspect is the color— the main buildings have a a warm almost green gray paint with white corner pillars and trim. Along the roofs are elegant toothed dental moldings below period looking slate roofs. All in all, very well preserved and re-purposed.
Another nice aspect of this area is the wonderful people I’ve met over the few days spent setting up and painting. These neighborhoods are full of families enjoying the elegance of in-town living and the ideal of preserving one the Georgia’s most historic districts. About a dozen folks stopped by to encourage my efforts and relate local history. I intend to spend a lot more time painting this eclectic mix of classic southern homes and historic buildings.